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To all the Americans
September 14, 2001
12:32 pm
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cloud
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Mal, that is so true. We all come together in great times of tragedy. However, we should not wait for such events to take place for us to work together at healing and strengthening the human race.

September 14, 2001
12:33 pm
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You can sneak into my midst
and kill my children like the coward you are
taking your own life as well because
you don't have the guts to face me
Man to Man.

You can dance in the streets
thousands of miles away from me
happy that one of your own has
murdered heinously and you take pride in that
with your smiles and upraised hands to
who you consider God might be.

I do not stand backed by such cowardice
nor do I stand applauded because I have
slaughtered thousands of innocent lives.

I stand, facing you now with full resolve to
answer the question your bullies have
thrown across the fence into my yard.
Will you take our punishment?
Will you take our jealousy and hatred?
Will you swallow the blood of your innocents
without choking?
Will you allow us to now sneak back into our
hole, after dancing in our streets and hide behind
the skirts of the Taliban with a smile on our
faces, smug in our denial?
Will you answer?

I stand, ready to deliver that answer.
There will be cowardice in my voice when I speak to you
I will face you front and center.
And if you run from me - I will find you.
I will face you with millions of faces who's heritage
isn't a bloodline of persecuting the innocent
but is a bloodline of religious freedom for all
and the protection of every individual within our borders,
including those who have fled your brutal tyranny
in order to pursue peace for their families here.

I will answer you and I will not stutter.
You will understand every word I speak because
I will deliver it with Thunder that will neither
entertain or acknowledge your denial, your cowardice
or your pathetic jealousies for what you have not
been able to accomplish for yourself.
Engrained into my heart, never to be erased
are the visions of those children still strapped within
their airplane seats, removed yesterday from the rubble,
Carved into my memory are the body parts that lay
in buckets, ready to be gone through a piece at a time...
Deep in the lining of wings that are now outspread and
on their way to visit you....I take with me every tear, every
cry for help, every drop of blood that was shed on my soil..

Yes.....I will.....answer you very soon.....
I am coming....be very assured - you shall be visited.....

Signed....... THE AMERICAN EAGLE

September 14, 2001
12:34 pm
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Cici
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Although my own first impulse was that of anger and hatred, it only took me about 5 minutes to realize that although revenge is a satisfying idea, the reality of revenge is quite unsatisfying.

See, we react, in anger, but who is the enemy? ignorance. Who do we declare war on? Saudi Arabia, Ossama bin Laden's homeland? Afghanistan, where he is sheltered? Egypt, because bin Laden has connections with the leader of the Egyptian Jihad? Who will suffer if we do go to war? Who always suffers in war? Innocents. Children. Women. Old men and women.

I am a product of a war. I wouldn't exist if the Vietnam War hadn't taken place. But I would gladly give up my existence and be nothing if it would make people understand what violence truely does. I get to look at the wreck of a father I have, what is left of a man who served his country for 35 years, in 3 wars...it's terrible. It's infinitely sad.

Big picture. We actually have spent our entire history as a country rashly acting out against those we determine as threats to us. Two years ago we spent months bombing Afghanistan in retaliation for the terrorist bombing of two American embassies.

Although I do not attempt to condone such a massive waste of human life, I have spent the last few days trying to understand the culture and historical precedent of this action. As usual, Cici ravenously researches until her eyes burn. What I saw only created a huge explosion of ambivalence inside of me.

We saw footage of Palestinian children dancing in the street, singing. What we experienced Tuesday, however, is their way of life. For the last 10 years they have lived in a country at war. We have the luxury of being removed from the horrors of war, until now.

My husband made an interesting point. We view the actions of these extremeists as completely random, just hate out of the blue. Ossama bin Laden declared Jihad, holy war, against American 2 years ago! To many fundamentalist Islamic people, we have been at war with them since the Gulf War. To them, we have been at war for years, this is just them upping the ante. Which is why this action is so utterly painful, because it is proof that violence begets violence, war begets war, anger begets anger.

Years after WW II, historians began to theorize that if the diplomatic approach towards Japan had been specifically geared towards their cultural bias, rather than the Western paradigm, the horrors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima may have been avoided. Maybe we can remember that tragedy, in the hopes of avoiding it, in our search for a resolution.

And isn't that what we want? resolution. and end to fear. not another ten years of anger, hatred, objectification, and fear.

September 14, 2001
12:35 pm
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Correction....there will be NO cowardice in my voice....5th paragraph.

September 14, 2001
7:06 pm
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Cici.

Right on!!!!!

September 15, 2001
1:41 am
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TO America and the other nationalities that have lost the people that you have loved so much,my family and fellow australians send our condolences to you all.We know that you are a strong country ,we are in admiration of your people ,at how they bond with each other.To see how controlled you all were at the time of the attack upon you .tHE WAY YOU ALL COME TOGETHER is an inspiration for all of us in all the other countries.If we want to stop acts of terrorism all of our countries have to band together and get rid of all the drop kicks out of our lives.May all the budha mothers give you help at your time of need.The children of our world should not have to grow up to witness a life of terror.Our world has suffered enough.Our thoughts are with you constantly and we know you have the strength,courage and unity to come through all of this.We cannot change the past , but we can work together to make now and the future safe for all of us.FROM PHILL DIANE DYLAN AND JARRAD

September 15, 2001
1:41 am
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TO America and the other nationalities that have lost the people that you have loved so much,my family and fellow australians send our condolences to you all.We know that you are a strong country ,we are in admiration of your people ,at how they bond with each other.To see how controlled you all were at the time of the attack upon you .tHE WAY YOU ALL COME TOGETHER is an inspiration for all of us in all the other countries.If we want to stop acts of terrorism all of our countries have to band together and get rid of all the drop kicks out of our lives.May all the budha mothers give you help at your time of need.The children of our world should not have to grow up to witness a life of terror.Our world has suffered enough.Our thoughts are with you constantly and we know you have the strength,courage and unity to come through all of this.We cannot change the past , but we can work together to make now and the future safe for all of us.FROM PHILL DIANE DYLAN AND JARRAD

September 17, 2001
2:52 pm
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Ladeska
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I understand your heart, Cici and I hear your words. I really do....I wholeheartedly wish that we could sit down at a table - take all this in the gut and resolve it peacefully and bring the guilty ones to justice without any innocent lives being lost. When you or anyone else can come up with "how" we might go about that - please submit that to the Leaders of our American Government, I'm sure they'd be interested to know what seems to be missing in the way...they defend this country.

My heart breaks every day thinking of the people wherever - that may get destroyed by this. I wish with every fiber of me that - no one else had to die. But, while I acknowledge where you came from, let me also tell you that I came from war also. I was shot at with "live" ammo for someone's amusement so they could laugh at how close they grazed me "this time", raped and tortured on almost a daily basis for 10 long years.

I sat and watched many people around me who saw what was going on at the hands of my tormentors, many very spiritual people, peace loving people - so much so that they just prayed instead and invisioned peace for me.....which equated to - My Hell Continued.... So, many people tried to do "nice things", and think nice thoughts my way, they tried the diplomatic approach with my captors - and of course, they evaded, hid, charmed and lied their way out of everything. So short of force - there was no way to rescue me or stop my torment.

I prayed.....for that to happen and it never did. I was the one that had to grow up - and stand them all down - alone. My tormentors laughed at people who tried to "reason" with them, they didn't respect them...and they continued to hurt me with more fervor than before because they were getting away with it because no one had the balls to stop it. The bullies intimidated and everyone backed down.

Just like a strong-willed child - No, needs to mean No and boundaries have to be enforced and consequences to action - happen. I've seen the product of parents who "reasoned and negotiated" everything with children. Littleton, CO comes to mind.

So, I'm not naive about war, internal or otherwise and I'm not naive about the personalities we are dealing with, nor am I heartless about the people that will continue to die until some very guilty people are brought to justice - one way or the other.

Should we do something out of hatred and anger? Well, in a perfect world, no we shouldn't... But, I think our leaders are thinking as clearheaded and rationally as is possible and I think our passionate feelings right now - are valid and we need to feel them as a nation, and then proceed to act as rationally as is possible and yet in a timely manner.

Yes, I very much wish....we could all sit down at a table and be heard and have things agreed upon. But, Terrorist mentalities don't negotiate. They see that as a sign of weakness and if you ignore them, they disrespect you more and more and multiply in strength and in number.

September 17, 2001
6:59 pm
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PHILL DIANE DYLAN AND JARRAD...big, big hug and thank you...we're all so very raw...but we do know - there are many brothers and sisters out there - that aren't in our country. We do very much know that and feel it... Thanks for your heart..

September 19, 2001
3:09 pm
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My deepest sympathies for the pain you have experienced, Ladeska, you are a stronger person for them.

Many people have mentioned the idea that terrorists are not negotiators. Although I have little experience with the psychological profiling of terrorists, if this is true that means we will never, ever win this war.

What I mean is, if you can't reason with them, killing them, no matter how many you kill, will never stop them. It will make them more passionate in their hatred. They will never be able to think reasonably that this is bad, we must stop, because to believe that would destroy their entire worldview, and we all know that that is tantamount to suicide. What reason to live, then, if not to die trying to destroy the great Satan?

Europe has faced an ever-growing force of terrorism with heightened security, the kind that we don't see in this country. We were ill prepared. We took for granted that these people were reasonable.

But we will take swift, forecful, decisive action. Just like we did in Vietnam. Just like we did in Korea. The two poster-child wars for the cold war, where we emerged with terrible loss of life, and no clear winner, forever decimating the economies of those countries. What was the result of all that time, money, death, pain? Did we get the bad guys?

In a perfect world, as you have said, we could find the perpetrators and kill them once and for all. But is this a clear possibility?

September 19, 2001
3:18 pm
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Cici
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I didn't by any means wish to offend, I only wished to offer up proof as to why I am opposed to war. If my argument is invalid in terms of research or reason, I conceed that I may be wrong. But if opposition stems from differences in morals or emotions, than, of course, we are each entitlted to our opinions, yes?

September 20, 2001
1:46 pm
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I'd like to send condolences to you from over here in Europe. It is so hard to find words fur such a huge and sudden terrible event. Last friday everybody in our city and the whole county put a candle in their windows. A little bit of light - not enough to fight the dark, but just to send good wishes and to show that we care.

September 20, 2001
2:42 pm
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You're not offensive, Cici. I think it's good that we bat around ideas, promotes critical thinking.

Who really knows what the right answer here is? I think we got caught with our pants down. And now we have to figure out how to pull them up without getting shot in the arse doing it. That could be tough, being that the little devils are in your toilet and under the bed.

I am forever amazed at how we do things backwards. We have to be hit between the eyes before we go OH, I need to put on a helmet!! I'm rather angry about that kind of passive thinking, to be quite honest. What's been going on around here anyways?? Everyone been smoking weed or what?

Time for us to pull our head out of our financial planning and attend to pressing matters at hand like - making this country safe.

September 20, 2001
5:29 pm
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You liberals crack me up. We just had over 5000 innocent people die in front of our own eyes and all you can come up with is "hey woah, peace and love man"? It was the previous liberal administration who got us into this hot water in the first place after the embassy bombings two years ago. Clinton "Stratgey" called for "sticking it to them" with a couple missiles fired from the Gulf. And we didn't "spend months" bombing Afghanistan as Cici incorrectly pointed out. It was one day. And the retaliation? We loaded up a couple $10 million dollar missiles and hit a couple $10 dollar empty tents, not to mention a school and a mosque. Great shot Bill!

Well I say eff them. Afghanistan has the great misfortune of housing known terrorists and for that they must pay the price. I surely don't see a problem with that. We warned them didn't we?

And ya know, I was in Lower Manhattan the day our towers fell. That day will forever be etched in my mind. It was afreakin horror, more so than witnessing it from the comforts of your living roon sofa. 4 blocks in fact. Turns out I lost a few good friends, even more than a few acquaintences. Giovanna was a great friend. She was 27. Was already a VP at Cantor if you can believe that. She always had a smile on her face and she had a great relationship with her pop. Never got into trouble as a kid, made Brooklyn proud. She was a local kid. I knew her since the days we all played stick ball in the streets at age 6 or 7. What a tomboy she was. Boy was that girl goin places. Planning a big trip with her sister to Italy to track down some roots or something. Gorgeous gorgeous gal. Was waiting for Mr. Right and woulda found him as soon as I got my act together. And now she's gone. Why? Because of a freaking bunch of fruitcakes who hate America whether we are the good guys or the bad guys. It don't matter and it never will. Talkin to em ain't gonna get us know where because it's our freedom they truly despise. There are over a million people with a story like the one I told above. We owe it to these people that we take care of a little business. You crybabies who say war is no good and it ain't worth nothing and it solves nothing -- ask that to the millions of men and women who rid our world of a guy named Hitler. Yeah war is ugly, I'll never argue with that. But if we continue to sit on our ass any further then we're doin a great disservice to the security and well bein of our future and if you fruitcakes don't give a sh/t about that then I guess you really don't believe there's a price we gotta pay for our freedom. You aren't living in reality (reality is what I saw Tues Sept 11) and you aren't a person who knows that freedom isn't a givenright, its a freakin privilege.
Cracker

September 20, 2001
6:30 pm
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Liberal...conservative...at these times it shouldn't REALLY matter...as for only bombing Afghanistan for one day remember it was the CIA who taught these folks now bombing and running planes into oour buildings...how to fight the Soviets with Stinger misles, how garrote a personetc etc etc. We, America , got what wewanted...Russia got it's Vietnam...Afghanistan and after it was done we walked away from a cuntry in ruins to let the "freedom fighters turn into terrorists.

I read an interesting statement by a prof. from U/C Berkeley...an Afghani, noow American....The Taliban is burying widows, there are over 500,000 orphaned kids in Afghanistan...if we turn that country into glass...will Omani BinLadin know..? NO he'll be in the Sudan, or Somalia or somewhere else glating and figuring another way to "get us".

The only way we can "win" is if he dies in his sleep...that way he won't be a martyr and we won't be "at fault".

The tradgedy itself...at first I heard media people questioning WHY didn't the air traffic controllers say something... too my mind after "Raygun" put them in their place for expecting a fair and decent wage for the important job they do......what is there to do....

Bail out the airlines...if the securty people were paid more than $5.15 an hour maybe they would CARE more.

You are right Cracker...talking to them won't make a difference...I know that they are NOT religious fanatics...just remember...everyone wearing a turban is not a terrorist...who'd a thought at first that OK. City was a white bread kid?

YES we NEED to "get the bad guys" but in this case it needs to be done quietly....Noot on the 7:00 o'clock news.

As Pogo the cartoon said years ago...

I have met the enemy...and he is us...

We, as Amercans, are a big bickering family. But when yoou attack the family it don't matter...

We need retribution and revenge. But it needs patience too. We are the last "super power" We stand alone. And tho there are those that will stand with us we need to have the wisdom to "do this right" not half cocked, not insanely as we were attacked.

We need to use some smarts here or be ruined.

My only true wish...that the media would just shut up. I am so tired of feeling like the talking heads are making what is happening real.

This is a shitty time. But just like after Pearl Harbor, WWI, etc etc. The daily life of the country goes on.

Fly the flag, pray for our leaders, be the kind of people we NEED to be.....patriotic, true, real, honest, and above all.....above it all.

Hard to say...harder to do.

We all need to remember that not only Americans were lost...62 countries from around the world had people in those buildings. This IS an international crisis. The WTC was considered INTERNATIONAL SOIL...not just American.

The terrorists made a mistake when they did this...I hope we are all sensible enough to make the common person see that....by taking our time and doing it RIGHT.

What is the right way to kill other people? Even the crazy and ignorant?

September 20, 2001
6:42 pm
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.....I'm sooo sorry for your loss, Cracker....she sounds like one of those completely outstanding beautiful people in this world and it is obvious that she is forever in your heart....we need people like you, Cracker. You are our protectors.
Yes, wisdom needs to be used in how we do whatever, but the bottomline is - something has to be done and I think our leaders know that and are able to carry it out. God, I bet you are raw right now.....I'd be a wreck...

September 21, 2001
12:33 pm
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My sympathies for your loss Cracker, I hope that you are dealing with the situation as best you can and I will pray for you as I pray for all the victims and their loved ones.

But Ladeska got it on the nose (how unusual, ha ha..). This is the absolute worst time to say "you liberals" or "you conservatives." We are a nation, we should stand together and forget our stupid little partisan bickering.

But, I doubt anyone is really saying "Hey, man, let's give peace a chance." Without doing a lot of research and fact-finding to understand why they chose their position. I don't know anyone in my "liberal" set who doesn't want justice, but I find the idea of putting our country on the level of terrorists a little unsettling. That is to say, we need to think clearly and take action based on reason rather than emotion. Emotional reactions will be the worst, because they are made recklessly and without thought. We could dig ourselves into a really deep hole.

I just made the point, which has been made by other political figures and news teams, that this will be a long, painful war, and that even if we kill those responsible, there will always be more to fight. This will be a war without end. I grieve for the lives lost now, and the many more that will be lost in the future.

September 21, 2001
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I disagree. You break the spirit of the people by eliminating the ones who cause the hate to begin with. Think about this: Afghanis aren't even aware that we are their number one source of relief to their country. Why? It's so simply that I don't even need to explain it. And how do you know that we aren't already thinking about this strategically in a thoughtful manner? Our military are professions and I have faith they will get the job done. It's so easy for all of us to preach "peace" but when the enemy is so irrational to the point that they will keep doing this with or without our actions, then you've got a bigger problem. I like what Cracker said--freedom is not a right it's a privilege. This was right on the nose. Our freedom has been challenged, I guess now it's a matter of asking youself, is our freedom worth the fight? I guess some of you don't think it is and aren't willing to risk lives for that privilege.

September 21, 2001
5:21 pm
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Yes, lives will be lost, that's a fact. And anytime someone starts something like this, like any bully on the playground - you can't just sit down and talk to them because - they just keep on shoving. Some people don't understand anything but force.

My concern is that we are being "baited" to do something here...a game of chess is going on. Bin Laden isn't stupid, he's plotted this all out, he knows what our reaction is going to be. And I do have faith in our leaders and feel confident that they are reacting out of rational thinking instead of hot emotion.

As far as us sitting down and talking is concerned - what they want isn't something we can give them. We'd be giving up our right to live the way we do because - they would rule us, if they didn't kill all of us first. That's - what they want and just like we won't negotiate that - they won't either.

When it comes to a standoff like this - there is nothing else to do - but fight for our freedom. Unfortunately, that's the way it is here - on planet Earth. What you have - you fight for, plain and simple.

Sure I wish for Eutopia, but I know the evil in men's hearts and looking back over history - many people enjoy torturing other people, it's something they crave just like you might crave chocolate. It will always be with us and we have to fight against it or be held it's captive.

There are some powers in this world that will not be reasoned with because they are not reasonable by nature and the very fact that you might "think they are" - makes them smile and gives them the advantage to cut your throat - right where you sit.

Peace would be wonderful and I wish it were possible, but from the looks of it, it comes for short periods of time and that's about it. Life is a struggle from beginning to end.

September 21, 2001
7:00 pm
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I'm just as American as anyone else, so depressed and heavy hearted over the attack of last week, it's almost too much to bear, and all the faces they now show on TV of the victims and their stories just plunges me deeper into sadness, so much so that I've just had to turn it all off.

Having said that, I still cannot believe that the answer is an all out "war" against an almost unseen enemy. I agree that we need to seek out terrorists and deal with them, either with our laws or on the spot if they choose. But don't tell me that a long drawn out war, with losses on OUR side also, is a way to stop this from happening again. Someone explain to me how an extended campaign of blasting already depressed countries is going to make our country more secure. The young children in the middle east who have been hearing since their birth how evil the US is, if they live through this, they will grow into Bin Ladins themselves. There are thousands of baby Bin Ladins who will follow in their martyr's footsteps once he is gone. We might be able to put a slowdown on the terrorists, delay them a bit, but when they regroup, they will surface again. As they always have. And we, in the meantime, will have offered up how many of our young men and women?? America's future, the brightest, the promise of tomorrow......will we have solved anything? Will the Americans who want revenge feel satisfied? Or will they feel a bit sickened when they see the body bags nightly on the news as we did for VietNam?

How many of us who are posturing about freedom and war...are actually
shipping out soon to go face this enemy in a foreign land???? Anyone on this thread?? The only people I give any credence too when they spout off about how bad we need to go to war, are the military folks who are on their way. Lots of people sit in front of their television sets and say rah rah rah, .....and they are going nowhere. Send me your thoughts when you get over to the desert, they will hold more credence from the frontline than they do from the safety of your home here.

I don't have the answers..it's been thousands of years for the middle easterners to be fighting with someone in the name of religion. Nobody can end this forever.

My thought is to make an all out effort to bring the suspects to justice, make an all out effort to bring the disgruntled enemies to a summit table, as suggested somewhere earlier on this thread. What would that hurt?? Our pride? Continue to show our size and our force, continue to wave the size of our "stick", but use it very sparingly. Would it hurt the cause??

Someone once said "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer".....

Most of all, I think we need to get very serious about our own security. If it means closing our borders, so be it. If it means stepping on immigrants toes and political correctness in an effort to rid us of terrorists, so be it. We need to get tougher. We need to find a way to never let them sneak up on us again. The FBI, the CIA, beef it up, make it a major budget priority, it is our safety net. I don't want to hear that the reason the airport personnel are slacking is because they are only paid a pittance, if they don't want to do their job for what they are paid, get out. Go work at Burger King for the same amount. If you're hired to do a job, do it right or don't do it. If you agree to the pay, then do the job right, or don't take the job.
And I need someone to verify and prove to me that these people really do only make 5.15 an hour. I find that hard to believe, at Cleveland Hopkins Airport people are clammoring to get hired because of the benefits.
It's been that way there for years.

I would like to see Fed. Marshalls on the planes, hey, it's obviously a necessity in this day and age. We have a high tech federal security system, make it even broader and better. We can't eliminate all of our enemies if we don't know who they are. And once they introduce themselves to us, it's too late.

I'm not a freakin liberal, I have been a moderate conservative for years. But in the 60's I was against sending young men to a jungle to fight a war we couldn't win. I want to use our energy and resources to find that illusive peace, doesn't everyone? It takes a much more intelligent,patient country to work towards peace than it does to just obliterate those who we cannot change.

I don't see how we are fighting for our "freedom". The small countries of the middle east who hate us have no power, they are not a threat to our freedom as a democratic country. We have the larger powerful governments as our allies, for the most part. They don't want to mess with us, so many of them depend on us for their own economies. They are the modern, forward progressing countries with whom we can reason. The third world is no threat to our freedom. Yes, the terrorists threaten our everyday freedoms of gathering, flying, living, but that's where I believe we need to tighten our security to keep them from ever succeeding again.

We've had an overwhelming wake up call. We cannot eliminate every Bin Ladin wannabe in the world. But we should be able to stop them from invading our space, our security, our freedom to feel safe. We are ions ahead of them in technology, so let's use it to keep our people safe.

September 22, 2001
1:36 pm
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So, Cici, did you get the letter yet, about Bombing Afganistan with Butter, rice, and bread, DVD's Televisions, and books, computers, VCR's, and medication????

Another approach.

September 22, 2001
9:26 pm
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Alena
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I liked that Molly, it's a different approach, maybe we should post the entire thing here. Although, maybe not, maybe our wounds are all still too raw and bleeding. I'm pretty sure most of America is not ready for trying to "heal" anyone else's pain. I just don't know what it would hurt to try.

September 26, 2001
2:10 pm
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Cici
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Hah! Good one. Hell, it would work, probably!

September 26, 2001
9:09 pm
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Alena
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Watched this "Townhall meeting" on cnn. tonight, had 2 military retirees on there fielding questions from mostly young adults and they were asked just that question, why don't we bombard them with food, lumber, supplies, be alot cheaper ....their answer was that we pretty much already are doing that. We are one of or THE top provider to Afghanistan now as it is. So, go figure. there is no logic....

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